This New Year, the fervent prayer is for a world that’s safe, poverty-free, and without conflict. We wish for resolutions to the troubles between Gaza and Israel, Ukraine and Russia, Myanmar, homophobic Africa, and the West Philippine Sea. All we are saying, as the song pleads, is to give peace a chance.
The Philippines slithered. Thailand sauntered, Nicaragua slaughtered. This year, Miss Universe holds its all-stars edition. With a good number of delegates having previous international pageant experience, the Class of 2023 is the most competitive, unpredictable and captivating in years.
‘IT’S nice because I started it 10 years ago. It’s sort of like nakakataba ng puso; at the same time it’s very gratifying and fulfilling. I’m just filled with gratitude that I’m able to celebrate 25 years of my career with the 10 years of the Red Charity Gala,” Rajo Laurel, one of the most recognizable names in Philippine fashion, says of being the featured designer of the annual fund-raising fete.
As soon as she introduced herself as “Liwanag ng Kalikasan” her “Heroine Fighting Climate Change” persona in the parade of nations segment, Karen Santos Ibasco of the Philippines proved unstoppable as the warrior-goddess to beat at the Miss Earth 2017 pageant last Saturday night.
Contrary to memes dominating most Facebook feeds over the weekend, the tickets for “The Most Beautiful Night in the Universe” are not as affordable as one is hoping to believe. The cheapest is pegged at P2,120 while the highest is P14,260, with other posts saying VIP tickets cost P25,000.
I’m technology-intolerant. I’d be the first to admit that. Anything new that comes along mystifies me—be it a new gadget, a Microsoft Word retooling, or an e-mail trick. I could hold on to a phone until it conks out, or to a laptop until the screen flatlines. I’m not easily lured into buying the latest product until what I’m using becomes unusable.